California Health Care Safety Net Institute

SNI Bulletin: July 9, 2009

SNI Celebrates 10 Years of Transforming Care for California’s Public Hospitals

As we kick-off the commemoration of SNI’s 10-year anniversary, we have a chance to reflect on SNI’s accomplishmentsover the last decade—a body of work directed at fulfilling SNI’s mission of spreading Innovation and transforming care. This month, with the debate over health reform firing up in our nation’s capital, SNI’s mission—to support public hospital systems as they seek to ensure top quality, efficient, coordinated health care for 2.5 million-and-growing diverse, primarily low-income Californians—seems ever-more critical. Stay tuned over the next five months as SNI celebrates this significant milestone, culminating in a special anniversary event the evening of December 2nd as part of the CAPH Annual Conference in Monterey. Please mark your calendars and visit the SNI website over the coming months.

CMS Releases New Publicly Reported Readmission Measures Today

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its public reports on readmission measures due to all causes within 30 days for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia patients. These new readmission measures can be found on the Hospital Compare website. Investigating and understanding the causes of readmissions, and then implementing improvement efforts to decrease them are crucial to getting better patient outcomes. SNI member hospitals participating in the Lean Core Measures Improvement Initiative are already focused on these new measures through work to streamline discharge processes and improve care coordination for congestive heart failure patients. Through these efforts, these public hospitals hope to further reduce readmissions.

Contact: Evelyn Chan, 510-874-7106 or Lance Mageno, 510-874-7120

Video Now Available from May 29th Quality Leaders Forum

DVD copies of the three speaker presentations from the CAPH-Member Quality Leaders Forum on May 29th in Los Angeles are now available. Featured speakers include J. Michael Rona (Rona Consulting Group) on Transforming Healthcare through Application of the Toyota Management System; Diane Premeau (Santa Clara Valley Medical Center) on Innovative and Successful Strategies From a Top Documentation and Coding Hospital; and Susan Rand (Riverside County Regional Medical Center) on Knowledge Transfer from the First CAPH Member Hospital to Be Surveyed in 2009. This convening was supported through a grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation.

For more information or to request a DVD copy, please contact Evelyn Chan at 510-874-7106.

First Outpatient Improvement Leaders Workgroup for the Seamless Care Center Initiative

As part of the Seamless Care Center Initiative to spread improvements in primary care, SNI will convene research-and-development-style workgroups for CAPH-member quality improvement leaders statewide, to work on topics of their choice. Any CAPH-member improvement leader may participate. The first workgroup will begin in October, following a short topic-selection process. Some possible topics for the first workgroup are: 1) Developing the Panel Manager role in the care team, 2) Building quality improvement capacity in residency-based clinics, 3) Efficient clinic flow in resident-staffed clinics, or 4) Building engagement with physicians for quality improvement.

If you did not receive an invitation and are interested in participating, contact Sasha Morduchowicz at (510) 874-7121.

National Report Confirms Need for Increased Efforts to Reduce Health Disparities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a report on national health disparities, which confirms that racial and ethnic minorities and low-income Americans experience disproportionately higher rates of disease, fewer treatment options, and reduced access to care. In light of these and other recent findings, SNI and California’s public hospitals are working diligently to strengthen systems of care to improve health outcomes for all Californians. In addition to continued efforts to improve language services and cultural competence, SNI seeks to ensure equity in care processes and outcomes by improving collection and use of accurate race, ethnicity, and language (REAL) patient demographic data. SNI will share findings from a 7-month in-depth research process, funded by The California Endowment, at the CAPH/SNI Forum on REAL Data Collection and Use in Oakland on July 15. In addition, SNI is co-sponsoring the HCIN From Ad-Hoc to Best Practices in Healthcare Interpreting Conference on July 16-17 in Oakland.

Contact: Erin Bowman, (510) 874-7119

San Francisco General Hospital’s IDEALL Study looks at the Effectiveness of the Patient-Centered Approach to Diabetes Management

A study in the April issue of Diabetes Care comparing alternate forms of diabetes support for vulnerable populations with limited literacy and English proficiency determined that a patient-centered approach using health information technology is more effective than traditional diabetes management approaches. The study is one of several conducted by the Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP) at San Francisco General Hospital as part of the Improving Diabetes Efforts across Language and Literacy (IDEALL) Project at the Community Health Network of San Francisco. Researchers found that using an automated telephone self-management support system (ATSM) for diabetes management is cost effective, reduces the burden of disease on both patient and family caregivers, and improves the quality of care in public safety-net settings. The positive results of the study have led to efforts at implementing and evaluating scaled up versions of the ATSM system.

Recognizing Excellence in California’s Public Hospitals: The 2009 Quality Leaders Awards

For 22 years, the CAPH/SNI Quality Leaders Awards Program (QLAs) has celebrated more than 300 of the best health care improvements among California's public hospitals. Honored annually at the CAPH Conference, the awards not only recognize the innovation taking place among the CAPH membership, but also the hard work, dedication, and leadership of those working in the public safety net. CAPH and SNI have just released the application for this year’s QLAs. Competition becomes fiercer each passing year as participation continues to increase and public hospitals continue to lead the way in quality improvement and efficiency efforts. The deadline to submit entries for the 2009 QLAs is August 17.

Contact: Norma Batongbacal, (510) 874-7116

California Smokers Helpline: Free and Proven Resources for Providers and Patients

Contra Costa Health Services and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center already take great advantage of a unique resource in improving community health and fighting addiction to tobacco among public hospital patients. SNI encourages all providers in California to follow their lead and use the free resources of The California Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-NO-BUTTS). The Helpline has been scientifically proven to double smokers’ chance of quitting successfully.

To make referral easy, providers can encourage their patients to quit smoking and hand them a gold Take Charge card. These plastic cards look like credit cards and list the Helpline’s toll-free number on the front and a brief description of services on the back. Providers can order Gold Cards and other materials free of charge for providers and patients (in multiple languages) at Public hospital quality leaders can post this flyer to get started with the health-promoting benefits of the Helpline.

SNI Contact: Hunter Gatewood, (510) 874-7103

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

July 15: Deadline for CAPH Hospital Systems to submit a Letter of Intent for the Seamless Care Center Initiative. Contact: Hunter Gatewood, (510) 874-7103.

July 15: CAPH/SNI Forum on REAL Data Collection and Use, 12:00-4:00 p.m., Oakland, CA. Contact: Angelina Ramos, (510) 874-7102.

July 16-17: Health Care Interpreter Network’s From Ad-Hoc to Best Practices in Healthcare Interpreting Conference, Oakland, CA. Contact: Beverly Treumann, (562) 401-8431.

July 21: IHI Expedition Preventing Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) in Hospitalized Patients: Risk Assessment. Scholarships are available for this event. Contact: Angelina Ramos, (510) 874-7102.

July 21: AHRQ's National Healthcare Disparities Report: Lessons Learned for Public Hospitals Web Conference Call, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Contact: Josel Bernardo, (202) 585-0105.

July 22-23: IHI Appropriate Use of Specialty Care Services R&D Lab, Cambridge, MA. Virtual participation is also an option. Scholarships are available for this event. Contact: Angelina Ramos, (510) 874-7102.

July 23: NAPH/SNI Integrating Chronic Care and Business Strategies in the Safety Net Web Conference, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Contact: Josel Bernardo, (202) 585-0105.

July 31: Deadline for interested individuals to submit Seamless Care Center Initiative workgroup topic selections. Contact: Hunter Gatewood, (510) 874-7103.

Aug. 17: Deadline to submit Quality Leaders Awards entries. Contact: Norma Batongbacal,
(510) 874-7116

Dec. 2-4: CAPH Annual Conference Steering a Course Towards Health Care Reform, Monterey, CA. Contact: Alysia Nero, (510) 874-7100.